"The Likely Lads" is an English sitcom created and written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, and produced by Dick Clement.\ Twenty episodes were broadcast by the BBC, in three series, between 16 December 1964 and 23 July 1966.
The show followed the friendship of two working class young men, Terry Collier (James Bolam) and Bob Ferris (Rodney Bewes), in Newcastle upon Tyne in the mid 1960s.
After growing up at school and in the Scouts together, Bob and Terry are working in the same factory, Ellison's Electrical, alongside the older, wiser duo of Cloughie and Jack. The show's gritty yet verbose humour derived largely from the tensions between Terry's cynical, everyman, working class personality and Bob's ambition to better himself and move to the middle class.
Bob and Terry were two average working class lads growing up in the industrial North East, whose hobbies were beer, football and girls. They were "canny", which is to say street-wise, yet they stumbled into one scrape after another as they struggled to enjoy the Swinging Sixties on their meagre incomes.
At the end of the third and final series in 1966, a depressed and bored Bob attempted to join the Army but was rejected because of his flat feet. Terry, who decided at the last minute to enlist to keep Bob company, was accepted A1 and shipped away for three years.
Runtime: 30 minutes
The Likely Lads - Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? - Netflix
Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? is a British sitcom which was broadcast between 9 January 1973 and 9 April 1974 on BBC1. It was the colour sequel to the mid-1960s hit The Likely Lads. It was created and written, as was its predecessor, by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. There were 26 television episodes over two series; and a subsequent 45-minute Christmas special was aired on 24 December 1974. The cast were reunited in 1975 for a BBC radio adaptation of series 1, transmitted on Radio 4 from July to October that year. A feature film spin-off was made in 1976. Around the time of its release, however, Rodney Bewes and James Bolam fell out over a misunderstanding involving the press, and did not speak again before Bewes' death in November 2017. This long-suspected situation was finally confirmed by Bewes while promoting his autobiography in 2005. Even while Bewes was alive, Bolam was consistently reluctant to talk about the show, and vetoed any attempt to revive his character.
The Likely Lads - Changes in format and style from The Likely Lads - Netflix
Although Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? was a continuation of the earlier series and featured many of the same characters, the style and format had changed. Unlike the original show, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? was made in colour. Also, The Likely Lads had been quite “stagy” (in the theatrical sense) in its format, being studio bound with little in the way of location filming. The 1970s series made extensive use of location filming in and around the north-east. In terms of humour, the two shows are very different. The Likely Lads had been a broad comedy, full of jokes and obvious gags, whereas Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? used much subtler humour, derived from the dialogue and characterisation, often interspersed with sentimentality (as the Lads mourned their lost past), and even touches of pathos. The latter aspect was usually a consequence of one of the lads reflecting on the past. Nostalgia was a strong thread running through the show. The lads frequently did ask each other the question in the show's title, Whatever happened to us?, particularly during their more mellow moments in the pub.